Thursday, September 20, 2012

Changing Seasons...

  Usually I look forward to the changing seasons. I love watching the small changes in color in the trees. The air is crisp.

  The first year of my divorce, I counted time through the seasons. My divorce was final on October 31st, so it was well into fall. As time moved forward into winter and then spring, I realized it was too difficult to think in terms of days and months, but I could say, 'well, I made it through winter and spring. That wasn't so bad. It is almost summer, and then it will be fall again.' Before I knew it, I had made it through my first year as a single parent.
  Now, I am watching summer fade into autumn. But this year I don't want it to go. I don't want time to move forward. Maybe I'm just not ready. That's the thing about time, it moves on whether you want it to or not.
  And I don't want it to.

  I try to really analyze what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling. Sad. That's pretty much how I'm feeling. Not all the time though. But even though I might not be sad at any particular moment, I find myself moving slowly. I am behind in my projects at work. I am behind in my responsibilities at home. I care very much about this. It worries me, and adds to my sadness.

  No, this year I am not ready for the happiness of summer to leave. I want one more cookout at Katy's with my whole family there. One more gathering. One more moment...because before I know it, winter will turn to spring, and spring to summer...and I will have lived a whole year without Joey.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Denial...

  Needless to say, by the time we got to the funeral, I was in deep denial.

  It it too hard to put in words what it feels like when you realize that you will never..on this earth...hear your son's voice again.

  The funeral was beautiful, so many people. So many people I didn't know. I had heard that the parking lot was full. Not everyone stayed for the Memorial Service. It was touching. Dane gave a wonderful tribute to his brother. I heard that there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

  After the service, Dane and Yuka, Randy, Susan and Ben, Katy, Josh and the boys, Bari and I, Sam and Madeline came back to my house. Sis Anderson had set up a wonderful buffet of salads and sandwich fixings. We sat and talked for quite a while. I gave Katy and Dane some of the pictures that I had printed up. I had made 2 large collages from pictures from my photo albums. I let them take whatever pictures from there that they wanted. It's better that they have those of Joey now. Putting them back into my albums doesn't make one will see them. Let the kids keep those memories now.

  After they had left, and I had taken a nap, Bari, Madeline and I went to the movies. We saw Men In Black 3. Does that seem strange? I needed a release of some kind..I needed escape.. It was good to just Not Think for a while.

  It doesn't matter much you try to escape, or deny or avoid. Because at some time, sooner or later. Usually sooner I guess. Something will surprise you..surprise you into remembering a tiny piece of life that you thought you had long forgotten. But it is there. Triggered by a word or a picture or a thought....

....then you realize that you won't hear that voice again. Won't have him walk into a room...won't call..will never call. Won't hear that voice.

  I went through my saved voice-mail on my phone today. Just hoping that there was one from Joey.

  Some day I will get mad about all of this. I will be angry about what he did. But right now I'm still sad, and learning on how to accept the truth. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Today is a new day..

  Originally I wanted to write every day this week. Just to record my thoughts and feelings and also to record what exactly went on each day. I'm afraid I will soon forget some of the details. Honestly, I don't know if I need to remember all of the details. Does it matter in the long run? Will it make a difference in how I remember this past week? Probably not. I will remember confusion and pain. I will remember love and comfort. I will remember sadness and laughter.

  Day 2...We - Bari, Madeline, her boyfriend Aaron, and I photographed 14-16 FFA soccer teams in the morning. In the afternoon (with the exception of Aaron) we photographed 4 football teams. I got terribly sunburned, but made it through the day. When we pulled up in front of the the house after football, Madeline and I just sat and looked at each other. Neither of us moved. (Bari was in a separate car).  Finally I said, 'I don't want to get out of the car. I will have to face the real world when I do.' Madeline agreed. We had both been able to avoid the crushing emotion of losing Joey, by working for 12 hours that day.

  Day 3..was Monday. By the afternoon, Katy and Josh, Dane and Yuka, Madeline and Sam and Bari and I were sitting in my living room with Angela, Joey's girlfriend and her mother Debbie. We had invited Angela to be part of making arrangements for Joey.
  Originally, I had planned that we would cremate Joey, have a simple Memorial Service and then bury him later. By talking to the kids, I found out that they were divided in this choice. Half agreed, but the other half needed a funeral with viewing to help them say good-bye. It was a really difficult time, but we were able to make some compromise with the final plan. Joey would have a Viewing and Visitation, but it would be held in the RS room at the church, that way, if the other family members didn't want to participate in that, they could stay in the foyer or the Chapel to greet friends.
  I was not going to change my mind about having the service and viewing at the church. To me it was respectful and appropriate. For a while, we had a little conflict getting to use the RS room because of a scheduled baptism that morning. In the end, the family from the Hamilton Ward moved their whole service to another chapel. This turned out better that we had expected, because there was such a large turn out that there was no parking left in the parking lot.
  By the late afternoon, Katy and Josh, Dane and Yuka and I, went downtown to the funeral home and spoke with the directors there. They were kind and helpful. They answered all of the questions we had. Morticians are a strange breed...but honestly, wouldn't you be??
Day 4 (Tuesday), 5 (Wednesday), and 6 (Thursday)...I worked. Yes, I left home and went to work every day, and a half day on Thursday. When I got home in the evening, I worked some more. Despite the tragedy in my own life, I had Memory Mate envelopes to count, and teams to organize. It was just a reason to escape the reality of it all. I know this. I couldn't stop myself.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Through the sadness...

  Through the sadness, I have the need to write. Joey is gone from this world. Too soon. Before there was time to celebrate his joy, his successes, his love, his legacy. 

  Day One brought confusion. The day started normally. We had a wedding. It was not a 'normal' wedding, there were 10 bridesmaids, 10 groomsmen, 2 ushers, 2 flower girls, 1 ring bearer, and assorted escorts and dancers..

  I was downstairs where the bride was getting ready. We were preparing her dress and shoes for a detail shot. Bari left the room to get his cameras. I set everything up, and waited, and waited, and got impatient, and looked all over the church for him. I finally got frustrated enough to walk outside to get my phone from the car. I was going to call him to see where he had gone.

  I saw him talking on the phone, and then start walking toward me. I was not happy at all, but this was a wedding, and strange things happen, so I tried to keep my temper in check. Bari walked toward me, and I turned around to walk back to the church, he told me to stop. Then he put his arms around me and said something like, "I'm sorry, Springfield Township police called and - and - they found Joey, and he's dead- I'm sorry-I'm sorry to have to tell you."

  You always wonder what you would do or say when you got bad news like that. I can tell you. It is instant chaos in your head. At the same exact moment, you are thinking- "I didn't hear what I thought I just heard" - "this is a bad joke" - "Nooooooo! this can't be happening". ...All at the same time.

  We decided that we would leave the wedding and go home to tell Sam and Madeline. Bari had already called Katy, and she and Josh were on their way to my house. Bari would return to the wedding and finish photographing it by himself. Honestly, I would have finished the wedding with him, if it weren't for Sam and Madeline. I needed to be home with them. We had phone calls to make and people to tell. And tears to cry.

  They knew something was wrong. Madeline took the news the hardest. Katy and Josh made their way over and we sat and tried to piece things together. I called back the detectives on the case, and they gave me all the information that they had. I had information about the coroner, and what types of reports had to be made. It was confusion.

  We worked our way through telling the news to family and friends. They all worried about me. They will pray for me. And bring food. And pray. It was sad and horrible and terribly confusing. Who does this? Who knows what comes next? or what decisions need to be made? It was a process, and it took all

  At the end of the day we were exhausted, but we had a plan. All of the kids with spouses, and the girlfriend with her mom, would come to my house on Monday to make arrangements, and think through the legal process. It was a start. A start to a very long road.